You are ready to move on to the next chapter of your life, but just how long is your Florida divorce going to take? The answer is – it depends. Learn what factors determine how lengthy or expedient your divorce experience will be.
The Divorce Process in Florida
The quickest divorce process is an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both you and your spouse agree on all the key areas including division of assets and liabilities, alimony, child support, and custody/visitation. This type of uncomplicated divorce can take as little as two to four weeks and, on average, is concluded soon after the marital settlement agreement has been signed by the parties.
Additionally, Florida does have a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. But, in order to qualify, the following eligibility requirements must be met:
- The couple does not have any minor children together (and isn’t expecting any)
- The couple has already worked out the way in which they will divide all assets and liabilities
- Neither spouse is requesting alimony
- That their Settlement Agreement is in writing, properly signed by the parties, and has been filed by the court
If you and your spouse disagree on any of the main settlement issues in your case and they need to be resolved, then your case is considered a contested divorce and will entail a significantly longer process.
The unresolved issues in a contested divorce can either be decided by the court or by other non-litigation options such as a mediator. Opting for the traditional court/litigation route results in, by far, the longest time commitment. These types of divorces can take anywhere from nine months to three years depending on the complexity of your case, animosity of the parties, the disposition of the attorneys involved, and the case backlog in your particular county.
Mediation provides a more expedient method for finalizing a divorce, if there are certain issues about which you and your spouse disagree. In a mediation, you and your spouse work with a neutral third party to resolve the contested issues in your case in a civil and cost effective way. Mediation generally is most effective when it occurs within a short time period prior to the final hearing.
Couples, who have children together, should expect their divorce to take longer than couples without children. In these cases, the court can order parents to attend counseling or meet with a psychiatrist or other qualified person before a divorce is granted. The court may also order that a social evaluation (concerning timesharing/custody/visitation) be performed by a qualified professional to assist the court in determining the best interest of the children involved in the case. When children are involved, the court may order other evaluations including drug testing and psychological evaluations.
When it comes to the duration of your divorce process, there are certain factors you can control and others that are inherent to your marital and divorce circumstances. Work with your experienced Board Certified divorce lawyer to streamline the process, so you can move forward sooner.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce options and other family law issues please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312 to schedule your consultation.